The year Papa died, I realised God was a mortal man too, because I think he died with Papa. Mama wailed, I wept, Chibundu cried, then Mama followed suit the way I had seen flies follow nsi at Papa’s small cassava farm. There weren’t any tears left to be shed for Mama because M’ma Obi, our next door neighbor, said I had to be strong for Chibundu, who cried and called for her Nne to carry her too.
The burial went by in a blur. Aunty Nkechinyere, Mama’s divorced sister, took Chibundu to the city. I followed Uncle Inno, Papa’s older brother, to his home in the suburbs of Lagos. Uncle Inno shared his two bedroom apartment with his obese wife, Aunty Ifeoma, and three teenage boys; Chike, Obiaku and Akunna. It wasn’t long before Uncle started licking his lips whenever Aunty Ifeoma wasn’t looking and complimenting my developing “oranges”.
One night uncle came into the parlour where I slept on an old ant infested mattress. He touched me between my legs where mama had warned me not to let any one touch. Uncle moaned and touched his man-stick too. He became a regular midnight visitor, touching parts of me Mama said should be for the pleasures of my husband alone. I think my uncle wanted more than just touching when he put his man-stick inside me after two weeks of touching. It felt like he had put the knife Papa used to slice oranges for us on Sundays in me. I cried, but Uncle covered my mouth, almost suffocating me.
Uncle kept coming, putting his man-stick inside me. The pain soon became a norm to me. I no longer cried as Uncle moaned and groaned, trying to force his man-stick deeper than his potbelly could let him. I just lay there. My soul somewhat ripped away from my body each time Uncle’s feverish thrusts began. This pleased Uncle because Aunty Ifeoma never woke up to his midnight escapades, so he bought me new church clothes and even took me to the barber for a new hair cut. My silence was gold.
Before long, as though in an unsung agreement between father and son, Akunna found his way to my mattress when the clock struck twelve. When Uncle wasn’t drilling me, Akunna took his place.
I was their new sex doll, but there was only so much I could take.
Clock struck 12, Uncle came.
12:05, he had a knife stuck in his throat.
I watched him gargle his own blood in his mouth. I washed my hands in them as the blood rushed out of his mouth, and laughed hysterically with my head thrown back. Aunty Ifeoma somehow materialised at the foot of my mattress with Uncle’s big torchlight. She gave an ear-piercing scream and I laughed.
Aunty Ifeoma had finally woken up.
The parlor was packed with nosy and sympathetic neighbors. Sister Chikodi from the next compound shook her head and spoke in tongues. Mama Emeka spat on me and shouted “Tufiakwa!”
The police came, cuffed and dragged me away. I looked where Uncle lay and laughed, then
looked at Akunna consoling his mother and laughed some more. My laughter carried a language no one else in the room understood.
“You’re next.” it said.